Watching your newborn or infant get sick can sometimes illicit a helpless feeling. There isn’t much you can do at the moment while your child spikes a fever or develops a cough, as many medications aren’t safe for such little bodies.

While the majority of illnesses that your baby contracts are mild and will fade away in a couple of days, one that you need to watch out for is RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus.

Our AFC Urgent Care TN team understands the risks associated with RSV, so read on to learn more about this potentially dangerous infection.

How Contagious Is RSV?

Anyone can get RSV at any time, but it is more commonly spread in the winter season and disproportionately affects children and older adults. That doesn’t mean that adults can’t get sick from it, the chances of them experiencing a severe infection are just much lower. RSV is really contagious and spreads quickly through close populations, which is why we often see breakout cases in classrooms, daycare centers and nursing homes.

Uncovered coughs or sneezes from an infected person can infect multiple other people at once. It can also spread through direct contact, so limiting who can kiss your baby on the face at this time of year can help keep him or her healthy. Some adults could be spreading the virus without even having any symptoms or knowing they are carrying it.

Common RSV Symptoms to Watch For

  • Fever
  • Runny nose/congestion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches

Are All RSV Infections Dangerous?

Thankfully, no! There are hundreds of thousands of RSV cases in the United States, and the vast majority of them are minor or never progress to the point where medical intervention is needed. However, this type of infection needs to be watched carefully because it settles into breathing passages and airways that are really sensitive and really little in small children.

Respiratory distress or breathing troubles can occur in any RSV case, and that’s what makes it dangerous for certain children. If your child ever starts to display any of the below symptoms, seek emergency medical attention right away.

Dangerous RSV Symptoms in Children

  • Shallow breathing or chest contractions
  • A high fever that won’t go away
  • Blue skin or fingernails
  • Loss of consciousness

If your child isn’t feeling well, we can help. Come see us at one of our AFC Urgent Care TN centers.